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Comments by zauche

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Posted on August 21 at 7:21 a.m.

It's been a long haul for Crown Castle. But the standards for review are high, as they should be, keeping Santa Barbara beautiful, so it required some negotiation to arrive at the final result. Contrary to statements by opponents, the cell reception served by these devices is terrible -- a cell phone dead zone -- and my family and our neighbors look forward to life without dropped calls. Still, it is a pity that only one oligopolist, Verizon, will use the new system, when competition (and less expensive, higher quality service) would be better served if the entire small hand full of wireless providers had been able to joint venture and then use the new antennae system for all their customers.

On Montecito Antenna Additions Approved

Posted on October 1 at 9:04 a.m.

It's "broke" all right. The congestion is real. The pollution caused by cars just standing or creeping along is real. The lost productivity of people just sitting in their cars is real. My questioning is directed at the wisdom of widening, with re-designs that impact the community, viz the congestion on Coast Village Road (a city taxing source) after Cal Trans closed the entrance by the Bird Refuge. Since they are used all over the world today, a monorail -- elevated light rail -- is hardly an unrealistic suggestion. I was surprised to learn it had not been included in the "101 In Motion" report, had not been considered and evaluated. CalTrans is a hammer. A hammer only understands one solution, slamming down on a nail. With all the time that's being consumed, why not look at other alternatives? Why not consider use of a different tool?

On Widen the 101 Now

Posted on September 29 at 6:42 p.m.

It is unlikely the Chinese are interested in widening the 101. It happens that the the longest monorail in the world is being used successfully in China to ease congestion, as is being done on most every continent around the world. Rather than widen the freeway, the existing median could be used to site the towers for the monorail, providing a light rail alternative without the need to acquire a new right-of-way. The current projected cost of the 10 miles in question could be enough to run a monorail from Ventura to Goleta. It would be economic, green, safe and fast. It was not originally considered by the 101 planners, the technology has evolved during the time delay and it might offer a more acceptable solution at the present time.

On Widen the 101 Now

Posted on September 27 at 4:34 p.m.

CalTrans planning has already harmed Montectio. It closed the on-ramp at the Bird Refuge, congesting Coast Village Road beyond its capacity, to the detriment of citizens and merchants. There is good reason to be cautious. In the "101 In Motion" 2006 final report, it was noted that, while they studied 'technologies such as AVT, APM, and PR [methods to haul autos on trains or systems used at airports] [they did] not include an elevated monorail system that uses a slender mono-beam and proven technology. That is a separate alternative. These technologies could follow an alignment along the 101 freeway corridor, or could follow the parallel Union Pacific (UP) rail corridor." Since that time, monorail systems have been built in China which demonstrate their feasibility for congestion relief similar to what is required here. See http://www.monorails.org/ for information. Since a monorail was not considered previously, it might be worth taking a look at it now, with the cost estimates now headed toward the half billion dollar range.

On Widen the 101 Now

Posted on September 27 at 9:35 a.m.

In the "101 In Motion" final report done in 2006, it noted that, while it studied 'technologies such as AVT, APM, and PR [methods to haul autos on trains or systems used at airports] [it did] not include an elevated monorail system that uses a slender mono-beam and proven technology. That is a separate alternative. These technologies could follow an alignment along the 101 freeway corridor, or could follow the parallel Union Pacific (UP) rail corridor." Since that time, monorail systems have been built in China which demonstrate their feasibility for congestion relief similar to what is required here. See http://www.monorails.org/ for information. Since a monorail was not considered previously, it might be worth taking a look at it now.

On All Growl but No Bark

Posted on September 15 at 9:44 a.m.

The fellow seems industrious. Even with the income from his meth sales, he continued to work in the great outdoors, perhaps just to have a place to keep his inventory but perhaps because he wanted to retain the psychic benefits of doing a hard day's work. Criminalization of drugs long preceded the creation of public employee unions, though the prison guards union never heard of a crime it didn't think should carry a longer sentence, It's odd to live in a police state based not upon authoritarian political philosophy but upon the simple desire of a few government employees to make a very good living from locking up their fellow citizens. If drugs were legalized (or de-criminalized), meth would still occupy a special place of concern because of its terrible effect on users, who get little or no benefit from incarceration and can continue using even in prison, thanks to smuggling conducted by . . . well, most likely, some of the keepers. What a circle.

On Summerland Meth Arrest

Posted on June 18 at 4:10 p.m.

Well, well, well. A similar case arose in Queensland, Australia:

http://cgw.com.au/legal-alerts/july-2...

There, the taxi company escaped liability, but, here, the allegation is that the driver was getting his instructions from the company dispatcher.

On Taxi Company Sued for Passenger's Death

Posted on May 16 at 6:18 p.m.

The elimination of two and a half years of construction -- and the accompanying traffic delays and congestion and negative impact on the economy of the whole area -- is well worth looking at as a reason to revisit the question. If, as Mr. Egenolf suggests, there is objective evidence that the safety concerns advanced by CalTrans are misleading, if not downright anecdotal, then I'd say that good cause exists to swing the decision in favor of David.

Why the ad hominem attack? This is not a one percent versus ninety-nine percent issue. (If it were, the one percent would be seeking the right to build helicopter pads on their Montecito estates, not squabbling over freeway exits.) We all depend upon a healthy local economy, kept healthier if we can avoid two and a half years of freeway construction.

On Sleep with Dogs, Wake with Flea Powder

Posted on March 25 at 4:14 a.m.

"Some think the fix is to gut the Republican Party of most of its policies, and evolve the brand into a “less extreme” Democratic Party, but such a thought is abhorrent to conservatives who understand that our policies work if and when they are tried."

I'm curious to learn examples the author might name of the GOP brand's polices working.

The Bush/Cheney administration was the last time they were tried. "Deficits don't matter," Cheney declared, even as the nation was plunged into two wars, when taxes were cut so they could not be paid for. Halliburton was the oil field services company Cheney left to return to politics. Much of the war profits were channeled to that company, though others help "privatize" the war effort. The multinational oil companies never got the "oil law" they wanted to guarantee their division of the Iraqi oil fields, the real purpose of the war -- but they gained control of those oil field under contracts nevertheless and run them today.

Meanwhile, the financial corporations ran the economy off the rails with the bursting of the real estate bubble, leaving the huge GOP war debt with even fewer taxes to meet payments. Never letting one of their self-generated crises go to waste, the GOP policy is now to retire that debt by cutting all entitlement (now a bad word) programs, leaving the military/industrial complex untouched and cutting still more taxes -- and, surely, never raising any taxes, ever.

How can it be said those policies work? Perhaps the question is: For whom do they work?

On Getting Back to Our Grassroots

Posted on August 31 at 3:23 p.m.

What was the logic behind the bill's plan to have an administrative law judge conduct a due process hearing, only to provide the school board with a recommendation to fire the teacher if the charges were proved, rather than leave the power with the bench officer to do the firing? This problem arose because it was taking so long to fire a predator/teacher in another part of the state that the school board paid the man a large amount to simply resign. This blackmail angered the public. Would the bill solve this problem? If the judge fired the teacher, then his next step would be to appeal, but he would be out of a job and have no claim against the schools. Under the bill, if the school board were the entity to fire the teacher, then he would have the ability to threaten a wrongful termination lawsuit against the schools, leading to the possibility of paying him a chunk of money to go away, rather than let the matter drag on for years. The bill would have returned the school boards to where they stand today when faced with this rare sexual predator problem. Rather than complain about Williams' abstention, it might be worth wondering why the author and his allies had not addressed and resolved that concern (and others) by the time it reached the Assembly Education Committee. It simply was not a well-reasoned bill.

On Is Das Williams a Teachers' Pet?

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